Advocating for You

March 25, 2021

Advocating for You

Since the COVID-19 crisis led to our country’s shutdown and the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 18, 2020, FNP has advocated for 100% relief of all COVID-19 related unemployment claims on behalf of reimbursable nonprofit, governmental and tribal employers across the country.

Remarkably, this pandemic resulted in the filing of more than 60 million claims across the country! To counteract the administrative crush of massive claim filings and ensure that qualified claimants could quickly apply and collect unemployment benefits, federal and state laws were swiftly modified. While these timely changes brought necessary relief to some individuals, it left many reimbursable employers with unprecedented, and unforeseen levels of unemployment benefit charges.

Subsequently, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, was signed into law on March 27, 2020 adding additional assistance for states, employers, and individuals. Helpfully, a feature of this economic stimulus provided 50% relief of COVID-19 related unemployment claims for reimbursable nonprofit employers BUT had problematic guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor, by requiring nonprofits to fully reimburse states upfront for this overwhelming cost.

First Nonprofit responded immediately and began a grassroots lobbying effort engaging our members and partners to express concern regarding the burdensome and unintended harsh treatment of reimbursing nonprofit, governmental and tribal employers. We led the way to mobilize others in field and organizations serving nonprofits at the state and national level to create the Nonprofit Unemployment Insurance Relief Coalition (NUIRC) as an advocate for more equitable and consistent treatment of reimbursing employers, specifically asking for 100% relief of pandemic related charges and correction of the guidelines issued by the USDOL requiring full reimbursement of claims that were subject to 50% relief in the CARES Act. NUIRC, with participants that include many of our state association and national partners, engaged lobbyists and recruited other supporters to encourage Congress and individual state legislatures to consider a more just treatment of reimbursing nonprofit, governmental and tribal employers. Several members of FNP programs and members of our Advisory Board participated in delivering this message to both Congress and elected officials in their own states.

The unified effort had far reaching effects on behalf of reimbursable nonprofit, governmental and tribal employers across the country. With the hard work and support of many including NUIRC and the National Council of Nonprofits (NCN), Congress passed the “Protecting Nonprofits from Catastrophic Cash Flow Strain Act” in July of 2020, providing cash flow assistance to reimbursable employers across the country and correcting the language that required state unemployment agencies to invoice reimbursing employers at 100% before receiving the 50% Federal relief payment. And subsequent extensions of the 50% relief and other relief measures in the CARES Act were passed. But it was not until 2021 that these advocacy efforts resulted in Congress increasing the amount of Federal relief for reimbursing employers.

The “American Rescue Plan Act”, signed into law on March 11, 2021, continues to provide 50% benefit charge relief through March 31, 2021 and then increases benefit charge relief from 50% to 75% from April 1 through September 6, 2021. It also extends other Federal relief for reimbursing employers that has been in place. More specific detail on the ARP Act can be found here.

Be assured that First Nonprofit continues to work to closely with our nationwide network of claims administration partners to ensure that our customers are:

  1. Receiving the appropriate relief on COVID-19 related unemployment charges
  2. Being credited for any benefit charges that should have been relieved
  3. NOT being billed for any fraudulent claims

We will also continue to advocate via NUIRC to encourage states to provide the additional relief needed to cover 100% of charges attributable to the pandemic from funds allocated to them for discretionary use by the ARP Act.

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Working with Marshal Whittey at First Nonprofit has been a great experience. He handles our request as a priority and goes above and beyond to resolve any issues we have in a timely manner. Marshall follows through to the end and ensures our needs are met. He has been a great resource for LSC and our “go to” for any tax questions we may have. With LSC transitioning several facilities into one federal tax identification number, First Nonprofit was able to assist and provide guidance with best practices resolving claims to each entity. Additionally First Nonprofit provided knowledge (information materials) and one on one training to HRS group with best practices to handle claims state adjudicated, fraudulent claims, and appeals. And processing information in the First Nonprofit [unemployment claims] system allows for timely information can be collected.

Lutheran Services Carolinas, Salisbury, NC

My experience with FNP has been wonderful. Unemployment in general is quite confusing and FNP has simplified the process for us. Everyone we have reached out to or worked with has been very helpful and follows up to be sure we understand the information. I am so happy we made the switch to FNP!

Stone Valley Community Charter School, Huntingdon, PA

First Nonprofit smoothed the unemployment perils for our organization during Covid. Without the ability to cap our UI exposure, we would not have been able to weather the storm. The program worked perfectly and we have come out of the pandemic ready to forge on. Thanks FNP!

Jewish Silicon Valley, Los Gatos, CA

My experience with the FNP has been fantastic. The idea of setting funds aside for the unemployment tax liability is a bedrock for nonprofit organizations like mine, namely ASHBA; what is even more advantageous is having the FNP as a custodian of those funds. 100% recommended!

American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association, Inc., Lexington, KY

I would like to comment on my experience with FNP….to date our District has saved $1,000’s of dollars by being enrolled in the First Nonprofit program. My only regret is that we did not know about this method of paying unemployment tax years ago….as I had figured about five years

ago, had we enrolled 15-20 years ago, we could have saved our small school district upwards of $500,000 in payments to IDES. Also we would have had a pretty hefty sum of money in our Reserve Account. Thankfully I attended a workshop hosted by First Nonprofit back in 2015 which got the ball rolling!

Beardstown Community Unit School District 15, Beardstown, IL

I have worked with the First Non-Profit Team for many years, and I appreciate the quick response and care that Cecilia and the team provides anytime I have questions. While there are other providers that may provide like services, First Nonprofit will always be my first choice! I appreciate you!

Innovative Services, Inc., Green Bay, WI

First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.

Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Louisville, KY

Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!

Neurologic Music Therapy Services of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ